Terlipressin is commonly used to stop bleeding of varices in the oesophagus. Varices are fragile distended veins that can occur in various parts of the body such as the oesophagus. This is caused by an increase in blood pressure in certain diseases such as severe liver disease. These fragile varices can rupture and lead to life threatening bleeding. Terlipressin is therefore given to narrow blood vessels, and so restricting blood flow to the varices and stopping the bleeding. When injected into the bloodstream, terlipressin acetate is broken down to release lysine vasopressin. This acts on the walls of the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and restrict the blood flow to the affected veins so that bleeding is reduced.
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